With graduation looming and internship season around the corner, we are all thinking, “What is the next step? How will we get from where we are to where we want to be? ”
My best advice is to create a plan. In my book, All Work, No Pay, I describe the “Intern Queen Dream List,” a document that helped me organize my internship applications when I was in college. A common mistake that both internship and job seekers make is that they do not organize their applications. The Dream List tool helps both internship and job seekers get organized and focused for their search.
I’m calling the list for college students the “Intern Queen Dream List” and the list for job seekers the “Lauren Berger Job Plan.” Both documents include the following categories:
- Company Name
- Company Website & Social Media Handles
- Contact Name & Phone Number & Email Address
- Deadlines (If any are listed)
- Required Materials for Submission
- Date Applied
- Date You Follow Up
Keeping all of this information in one place is going to help you on your search for the perfect opportunity. Make sure that you apply to at least ten different jobs or internships. Keep this list in a safe place, and refer to it constantly. This is your roadmap, and it will keep you on track.
My second piece of advice is to follow all of your “dream employers” on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and even Pinterest, if they have an account. Did you know that over 18 million job seekers landed jobs through Facebook last year? Notice that on your IQ Dream List or LB Job Plan there is a category for “social media handles” – this is where you should include their information. Keep tabs on company news, open positions, and opportunities to directly connect with the employer or recruiter.
Lastly, I want you to follow up and prevent opportunities from slipping away. The last column on your IQ Dream List or LB Job Plan is “Date You Followed Up”. It is essential to track the date you need to follow up with a potential employer. This should be two weeks after you initially send your materials. Your follow-up note should be delivered via email, be a few sentences long, and say, “I just wanted to follow up on my application for (position title) that I submitted to you via email on (state the date). Please let me know if you require any additional materials.”
Good luck and stay on track!